This offseason the Montreal Candiens dipped their toes into the free agent waters and signed forward Daniel Briere to a multi-year contract. This was the homecoming that every one in hockey had been calling for these past fews years. Is the honeymoon already over? Could Briere find himself being shipped out of Montreal?
At the end of the 2013 season the Philadelphia Flyers decided to use one of their compliance buyouts afforded them by the new collective bargaining agreement on Briere in an effort to save cap space. This in effect made Briere a free agent. He went ahead and signed a 2 year $8 million dollar contract with the Canadiens.
Back in June when Briere was signed everything seem great. Briere said after signing:
For me, the Montreal Canadiens’ fans are probably the most passionate fans in the NHL…It’s an honor to be playing for them, in front of them, and all I’m hoping is that we will all be cheering in the same direction when the season starts.
Canadian General Manager Marc Bergevin added:
Daniel Briere brings a great deal of skills, experience and leadership to our team and he is a significant addition to our group of forwards..
Fast forward ahead to January and it looks like the love affair may be over. Coach Michel Therrien has not been happy with the 36-year-old forward’s play and has even made Briere a healthy scratch in recent games. Briere wasn’t brought in to carry the offensive load for the Canadians but he was brought in to bring a consistent scoring element to the team. On the year, Briere has 5 goals and 5 assists and is only averaging 12:30 of total ice time in the 28 games he has played in. For $4 million dollars a year, that is just not enough productivity.
Rumors have surfaced recently that Bergevin would be open to moving Briere. Thefourthperiod.com is reporting:
Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin has made it known to some teams that he would be willing to trade Briere, if the interest was there…. The Habs have been linked to Winnipeg Jets sniper Evander Kane, and were rumored to have some interest in Colorado Avalanche center Paul Stastny, who is in the final year of his contract.
It will be interesting to see what develops here. The main issue that Bergevin is going to run into here is the fact that Briere has a no trade clause so he would have to approve any deal. You would have to imagine that with Briere getting limited ice time and even being a healthy scratch, it is only a matter of before he voices his displeasure and asks for a trade.
Do you think Briere gets moved out of Montreal?